Aspirin could play life-saving role in cancer treatment

Aspirin may not only help keep cancer at bay, it could play a life-saving role in treatment.

Role for aspirin in cancer treatment

New research suggests aspirin may not only help keep cancer at bay, it could play a life-saving role in treatment.

A review of 71 medical studies, which looked at the survival of 120,000 patients with cancer who took aspirin, compared with 400,000 patients who did not, showed that at any time following the diagnosis of some cancers the proportion of patients who were still alive was 20–30 per cent greater in those taking the drug. 

The spread of cancer to other parts of the body was also substantially reduced in patients using aspirin.

Cardiff University’s Professor Peter Elwood, who directed the study, said: “The use of low-dose aspirin as a preventive in heart disease, stroke and cancer is well established but evidence is now emerging that the drug may have a valuable role as an additional treatment for cancer too.”

One of the colon cancer studies the researchers looked at suggested that a non-diabetic man of about 65 years who takes aspirin would have a prognosis similar to that of a man five years his junior who takes none. 

For a woman of similar age with colon cancer the addition of aspirin could lead to a similar prognosis of a woman four years younger.

Almost half the studies included in the review were of patients with bowel cancer, and most of the other studies were of patients with breast or prostate cancer.  

There were very few studies of patients with other less common cancers, but on the whole the pooled evidence for all the cancers suggested a benefit from taking aspirin.

All this evidence of benefit is, however, limited. First, the evidence comes from observational studies of patients who took aspirin for reasons other than the treatment of cancer, and not from appropriate randomised trials designed to test aspirin and cancer.

Furthermore, the evidence is not entirely consistent and a few of the studies failed to detect a benefit attributable to aspirin. More evidence is therefore needed. A number of new randomised trials have been set up, but these are unlikely to report for quite a few years.

Read the full aspirin study.

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    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.





    COMMENTS

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    PlanB
    3rd Oct 2018
    11:01am
    One minute they say Asprin is bad the next they say it is good !?
    BERRYUPSET
    3rd Oct 2018
    11:17am
    I`VE JUST BEEN TOLD BY MY G.P TO STOP TAKING LOW DOSE ASPIRIN (AFTER 2 YEARS)AS IT CAUSES `BLEEDING`(BRAIN ETC)
    W.T.F.
    AL
    MawsieJ
    3rd Oct 2018
    11:25am
    It's very true - what is said will save you today will, kill you tomorrow

    3rd Oct 2018
    11:26am
    Do the people who write these articles for this site have nothing to write about that is important? This article is useless and reading the last paragraph says it all.
    "Furthermore, the evidence is not entirely consistent and a few of the studies failed to detect a benefit attributable to aspirin. More evidence is therefore needed."
    Infinityoz
    3rd Oct 2018
    12:01pm
    Exzctly! What's more, the article points out "All this evidence of benefit is, however, limited. First, the evidence comes from observational studies of patients who took aspirin for reasons other than the treatment of cancer, and not from appropriate randomised trials designed to test aspirin and cancer."

    I was going to quote the very sentence you put in, was pleased to see someone else noticed this :) ...aspirin as a beneficial drug has been thoroughly debunked recently. Seems it has zero benefit in preventing heart disease and stroke, still two of the biggest killers around. It is irresponsible to recommend it for cancer treatment/prevention based on this single, inadequate study.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Oct 2018
    11:45am
    Aspirin will cause bleeding in the gut if used long term.
    ROB
    3rd Oct 2018
    12:04pm
    So funny; take some chemicals to avoid something (Hopefully) and kill yourself with it anyway.
    Jem
    3rd Oct 2018
    12:20pm
    The same goes for so many medications that are prescribed, not just aspirin, we are constantly bombarded with different opinions about our new scrips, from nexium to Ezetrol etc, at least Asprin has been around for decades, so that’s some comfort..and can’t remember hearing about anyone croaking from taking it! Lol
    musicveg
    3rd Oct 2018
    2:31pm
    Why is YLC posting articles like this, are they getting hand outs from Pharmie companies? It is such a lie, it does not prevent cancer, only thing that prevents or at least minimizes your risk is alcohol free, low fat,wholefood plant based diet. Aspirin along with other pharmaceuticals will nearly always cause another problem, like heart attacks, changing your gut bacteria so your immune system no longer can ward off viruses, or attacks your liver that does all the work to clean your system.
    Misty
    3rd Oct 2018
    10:24pm
    What you say is not completely true, I have read of many raw food vegans who have died from Cancer, so many different causes, genetics, environment etc we are all different and no one particular lifestyle will prevent any disease, at least this is what I can gather from information available.
    musicveg
    3rd Oct 2018
    11:13pm
    Those who die of cancer on a raw food vegan diet might not have been getting all their nutrients or exposed to chemicals, like you say there are many factors at play, but you can minimize your risks by living a healthy natural, chemical free life full of antioxidant plants.
    Complete raw vegan is hard to do unless you get a lot of advice, better to include some cooked grains, beans and starchy vegetables.
    Julian
    3rd Oct 2018
    2:46pm
    Low dose aspirin has been proven to be more beneficial than harmful. There is plenty of data to back this up.

    In terms of bleeds and gastrointestinal upsets, again there is data. Aspirin is prescribed when the reward exceeds the risk, i.e. there is a reasonably safe benefit which outweighs the relatively be lower risk. The active component of aspirin deactivates cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) which is responsible for clotting which is why it is used to prevent stroke amongst other things. It also assists with the formation of mucus in the gut. Blocking COX-1 can therefore cause gastrointestinal bleeding as a result Thus it's a question of whether the risk outweighs the benefit and these are some of the things to consider when a dr prescribes aspirin.
    41Alpha
    3rd Oct 2018
    4:50pm
    I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer a number of years ago and had my prostate removed. I also had 6 weeks of follow up radiation treatment.
    Since the operation, I can no longer use aspirin as it causes me to pass blood in my urine.
    So basically I have to avoid aspirin medication at all costs.
    Jenny
    3rd Oct 2018
    5:27pm
    The most recent study showed that healthy people taking low dose aspirin showed no benefits compared with those in the control population. However that doesn't apply to those taking it for medical purposes. This was the Aspree trial in which I was a participant. It was a huge trial, so should be pretty accurate.


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